The growth of questionable online degree colleges is booming. According to the 2010 free edition of THE BEST WORST ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAMS over 80 accredited online college providers are marginal at best. They provide little academic rigor and offer students virtually no chance of transfer to a top tier university for an advanced degree. Each of these marginal online degrees providers are rated a number ONE on a ONE to FIVE rating scale. Top rated schools can achieve the highest rating of FIVE. Almost a third of the over 300 schools currently rated and ranked in the eBook are found numbered among the poorest category. The list of marginal online colleges is expanding rapidly. The worst list has grown exponentially as more and more traditional schools have climbed on the bandwagon over the years. Marginal online programs of universities attract many non-traditional students returning to school and in a hurry for a degree. Moving like there was no tomorrow, students atracted to these schools don’t do the proper due diligence and throw caution to the wind. More often than not they will take what they think is the easy road to achieve satisfaction. As long as the word ACCREDITED is found to accompany the rated university’s name, they seem to care less about whether the school will do them any good after graduation. Schools of this ilk covet accreditation because it gets them access to the government guaranteed student aid pot of gold. Regardless, most number ONE schools are really academically poor at best. In addition to their poor rating, marginal schools have one other thing in common and that is a marginal faculty. Online faculty, according to top online schools, should be every bit as good as traditional faculty and carry equal or better credentials. It appears the current group of online marginal colleges is just throwing together faculty and degree programs left and right. Their university motive, it seems, is to keep up and get in on what they perceive is the cash bonanza bandwagon. The biggest players in this Peanuts, Popcorn, Online Degrees game are those universities that really stand out. Students dedicated to getting a real education know who they are and how to avoid them. Unfortunately, one of the sad commentaries about marginal schools is that many potential learners they attract are not paying attention. They knowingly seek the easy road to achieve their education goal assuming it will get them promoted or improve their lives and income. Such students are in for a rude awakening. Many marginal unknown colleges are lying in wait and laying the trap for unsuspecting students that cannot see whether the target institution is or is not a quality online provider. Often, by the time an unsuspecting learner looking for the quick and easy figures out the school is an accredited diploma factory, it’s too late. ______________________________________ Dr. Fred DiUlus is the author of the Best Worst Online Degree Programs published annually in eBook format. He is the CEO of www.GlobalAcademyOnline.com and is counted among the early pioneers in online education. Dr. DiUlus is the father of institutional private-label online higher education.